Wisconsin National Guard readies troops to respond in wake of Harvey if needed

TEXAS -- The Wisconsin National Guard is readying troops to respond to Gov. Scott Walker's offer to assist Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

According to a news released, the National Guard Bureau is notifying Army and Air Guard units throughout the country to be ready to support civil authorities if requested by the dual status commander in charge of operations in Texas.

Wisconsin's 32nd "Red Arrow" Infantry Brigade Combat Team and some of the state's Army aviation assets have been identified and are being notified that they could be part of a National Guard task force with as many as 30,000 troops.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by Hurricane Harvey," said Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin's adjutant general in the release. "The Wisconsin National Guard stands ready to assist Texas, if it needs us. We are well-trained and prepared to assist in any way necessary."

No Wisconsin National Guard forces are currently involved with the response, but thousands of National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from Texas and other states are on duty.

The Red Arrow is the Wisconsin National Guard's largest unit, and it is headquartered at Camp Williams in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin, with units spread across all of Wisconsin as well as one battalion in Michigan. While most of the state's aviation units are deployed overseas at this time in support of their federal mission, Black Hawk helicopters are available to respond.

The National Guard has a unique dual-mission as the nation's first military responder in times of emergency, while simultaneously fulfilling its role as the primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force.

The organization simultaneously continues to play an active role in global security operations. Approximately 270 Airmen from the 115th Fighter Wing deployed to Korea earlier this month, while 110 Airmen from the 128th Air Control Squadron deployed to Southwest Asia in May, and approximately 150 Soldiers and fellow aviators from the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation deployed to Kuwait last spring. However, even if the Red Arrow mobilized, more than 6,000 additional Soldiers and Airmen from the Wisconsin National Guard remain ready and available to serve our state and nation, if needed.

The Wisconsin National Guard will provide further updates as they become available.